Story of Gaza & Jerusalem
BECOME A CITYZEN OF GAZA & JERUSALEM
Despite a long-term peace process and the general reconciliation of Israel with Egypt and Jordan, Israelis and Palestinians have failed to reach a final peace agreement. The key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, Palestinian freedom of movement, and Palestinian right of return. The violence of the conflict, in a region rich in sites of historic, cultural and religious interest worldwide, has been the object of numerous international conferences dealing with historic rights, security issues and human rights, and has been a factor hampering tourism in and general access to areas that are hotly contested.
The known history of Gaza spans 4,000 years. Gaza was ruled, destroyed and repopulated by various dynasties, empires, and peoples. To give you an idea of the richness and complexity of Gaza- it was originally a Canaanite settlement, it came under the control of the ancient Egyptians before being conquered and becoming one of the Philistines' principal cities. Gaza then fell to the Israelites followed by the Assyrian Empire. Alexander the Great besieged and captured the city in 332 BCE, transforming the city into a center for Hellenistic learning and philosophy- until it was resettled by nearby Bedouins. After that Gaza changed hands regularly between two Greek successor-kingdoms, the Seleucids of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt, until it was besieged and taken again by the Hasmoneans. Gaza was then rebuilt by Roman General Pompey Magnus, and granted to Herod the Great thirty years later. A 500-member senate governed the city, which had a diverse population of Greeks, Romans, Jews, Egyptians, Persians and Nabateans. Conversion to Christianity in the city was spearheaded and completed under Saint Porphyrius. Gaza was then conquered by the Muslim general Amr ibn al-'As, and most Gazans adopted Islam during early Muslim rule. Thereafter, the city went through periods of prosperity and decline- the Crusades were a regular exchanging of the city until it witnessed a golden age under the Ottoman-appointed Ridwan dynasty in the 16th century.
During its long history, Jerusalem has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, besieged 23 times, and destroyed twice. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE, making Jerusalem one of the oldest cities in the world. Jerusalem thusly has a deep and rich history, having experienced the ruling of over 45 different governments, and all with intrinsic religious ties to the city itself- as such it is no surprise the city today continues to both flourish and be held as the subject of much debate.
the gold market & The dead sea
The Gold Market is a narrow covered passageway located in the old quarter of Gaza; it is both a center for trading and buying gold, and location for foreign exchange. The Market lies along the southern edge of the Great Mosque of Gaza, beside the main Omar Mukhtar Street. The Market is known as the place where young grooms-to-be have picked out jewelry for their brides alongside their families for generations.
The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan. Its surface and shores are 430.5 meters below sea level, being Earth's lowest elevation on land. With a salinity of 34.2%, it is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean, and one of the world's saltiest bodies of water. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from asphalt for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.
Only Jerusalem's Museum on the Seam can be said to be the world's greatest juxtaposition of the city's ancient culture and history and the museum's contemporary art theme. It has been named one of the world's 29 cultural 'one must-see-before-I-die destinations' by The New York Times! After seeing some modern art, you might want to see the city of Jerusalem's oldest monument- the Western Wall! The Western Wall is the only remaining wall of the second synagogue to ever be built- dating back to 19 BCE.
If there is anything the ancient city of Jerusalem does well, its fuse its ancient history with contemporary style and beauty- and nowhere in the city besides the Tower of David is this established to its full extent. The Tower of David dates back to 2000 years ago, but now features a breathtaking light and sound show at night.